Archive for the politics Category

Housman’s Bookshop Throw a Party For Chelsea Manning

Posted in Current affairs, education, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2017 by kathydasilva

At 7 pm this evening Housman’s Bookshop, opened its doors and celebrated the news of Chelsea Manning’s first day of freedom. All supporters, who had travelled to London for the party took part in the evening of entertainment and mirth. Poets and activists for peace stood with beer and wine in hand with a tremendous feeling of worth. Such a wonderful day for Chelsea Manning seeing her sentence of more than 35 years commuted to the six she has served with clemency from Obama as he left the Whitehouse for the last time.

Attendees, are as follows: Jim Radford, campaigner and activist for peace a veteran of WW2; Kirsten Bayes, from C.A.A.T. Campaign Against Arms Trade; Rod Langlands, activist and anti-aparteid campainer in Israel for the Palestinians; Susan Johns, who read the statement from Chelsea Manning on what had kept her strong whilst in prison; Pauline Sewards, activist and poet, who also read tonight her own poem thanking Chelsea for her bravery( she says she writes mainly for activism on the site ‘I am not a silent poet’;  the staff of Housmans including manager Catherine Barter. The whole shop was filled with the most amazing warmth, and feeling of purpose. I looked around and found titles of grand inspiration, including Naom Chomsky’s titles. The main purpose was to celebrate the victory of Chelsea Manning’s freedom, and the wonderful feeling of perhaps being part of it.

The shop aims to send to Chelsea Manning the photograph of everyone who came with the signatures and well wishes of the many who came to support this brave whistleblower. Thank you Chelsea Manning for standing for PEACE and TRUTH!

 

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I have now uploaded the small snack bites of video from the party you can hear some of the speakers to the above event on YouTube.com  …

 

A Society that Could Care

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2017 by kathydasilva

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I picked up on some of the headlines this morning in the newspapers, as I went for a shop in my local supermarket. I was just popping in to a Tesco near my flat, for cat food, milk and oh a paper, well, I could not ignore the spread from left to right of the ‘media’ lynching of Jeremy Corbyn. Why? Well the Tories who own most of the papers albeit via Rupert Murdoch, are resplendant in their attack, as and when they choose. You or I, will see in the next few weeks the most abusive system of communication at work that I can possibly have imagined might have come into being. And perhaps this needs some sort of legislation adjustment, and still no debate via TV live platform, for Jeremy Corbyn to answer questions alongside Theresa May. Why?

I have been focused today, on trying to get to grips with online marketing potential for my published books which have been enabled by createspace.com the company with affiliations with Amazon.com so far so good, the product, my books, are there online and being sold by different online agencies. However, the problems with marketing are far harder for an individual with no money set aside for advertising, than through established publishers who do offer authors pay in advance sometimes for the work they do. As I have no advance, there is very little I can do other than small scale advertising to further the knowledge of my book creations.

Alongside my efforts this day to follow up and find, where people can buy one of my books, I also started to reflect on books I had read in the last year, and books that I looked at for style, technique and skill. My mind chose to focus first on a favorite of mine from a long time ago, John Steinbeck, who had the talent to put down in words all the characteristics of an individual, no matter how common or bizarre. He is so skilled in making focus on human suffering and economic dilemmas. And he does so with warmth integrity and incredible durability of image. I still like to browse over the old texts of the novels, of his era. The most remarkable thought came to me today, with also the need to deeply reflect on the politics that do exist today in England, and the thoughts were specifically of the society we are building for future generations. Are we all so sure, that building wealth is the goal and the only goal, that a person should be about?

I have made myself read or re-read Psycho this year by Robert Bloch, with the well known character or villain Norman Bates, a vulnerable mentally ill adult, who had put up with quite a coarse upbringing. And also, having digested this classic decided to read the more up-to-date, subsequent book of our own era, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I managed to read Psycho cover to cover. However, when it got to trying to be as thorough in my approach to American Psycho, my stomach for the ‘detail’ or catalogue of ‘sins’, that the new psycho character of Patrick Bateman, is blamed for, well, I had to put it down for another time, when I have recovered from the dark images. I will detail that Ellis’ psycho is a modern man walking amongst us. He with the million dollar lifestyle, wears the highest costing designer cloth money could buy.  He gets away with ‘murder’. He is so violent to a homeless man, and tears at his flesh in such a fashion, having torn at the man verbally, he fulfills his angry desires, on the weakest of individuals. He is presented in the book as a cannibal. He eats and cooks to eat parts of his victims. He destroys the women he takes home to his flat,  by luring them in for sexual encounter, and then tying them up, ready for torture. Eventually he kills them, having given them, a nightmare of the worst kind. And hence, I could not really say, that I enjoyed the detail. However, the worst part, of the story is how this could happen? How, could this evil exist, move around people in society, slip in and out of normality, sit at tables in expensive restaurants, pretend such calm control?

I was looking recently at the stats of people who had been on disability in Britain, who had had their benefit or disability pension revised, by the new rules under the present day Conservative Party. Apparently, 30,000 individual souls or more, perished within weeks of being put back onto the dole queue for ‘able bodied’ persons who were ‘fit for work’, in the last year or so. Some of the ‘victims’ were people who had had major surgery, and that included double organ transplanted individuals, who died within weeks of the start of a new job, or for that matter, in the effort to fulfill and not starve, the regulations of the new government.

I am not sure what I am more shocked by, American Psycho or the politics of our era, set to reinstall the same ‘madness’, that this country has been enduring for a that last few years. I just hope that the public become more greatly informed and choose to read more independent media articles. We use to call it reading around the subject, in order to get a balanced view.

When I visited my friend Bruno in France last summer well it was nearly autumn, I became utterly amazed at the feeling of sheer, ‘freedom’, that was experienced, once in the country of France. I was there only for a short four day break, as he had offered the holiday for free. I could not have gone away without the charity of a friend. I had had an accident in the April, where my ankle had been crushed by a vehicle in Ilford. I had been in the news, but not named. The car had run over my foot too in the process.

When and if you do read American Psycho, so much of what obsesses the man, the main character is to do with position in life. The clothes people are wearing and which designer shoes are being worn by who. Where they would eat, and would it be good to be seen eating in these haute couture, stylish places. The grubby, hungry, and homeless seen as a nuissance like the rubbish strewn and ready for collection.

I photographed, the student protest a year or so back, and within the hour of the demonstration finishing, and not even making the evening news, the borough of Westminster, had the street cleaning vehicles and people to broom away the abandoned placards, out in number. Who could have told that the students had even been there.

What worries me more is if we follow suit with America in ‘all things’. We seem to have allowed the grant system to fall foul of the capitalist system, in a major way. This in turn, will also mean less equality generally. Fewer people will seek an education if it also means living with a life long debt attached to their ankles like a ball and chain.

The delight in which Tories hold the ‘fort’ of Westminster, is a worrying sign. You could almost hear the laughter, from Theresa May’s cabinet ministers, at the Corbyn, dilemma of having by accident? Run over a BBC journalists foot. He will live another day, no doubt, and the NHS will put his foot back together. I just wonder if the BBC could manage to not show bias?

 

 

 

 

Trolls

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, education, politics, Stories and reviews, writing with tags , , , , on April 11, 2017 by kathydasilva

Yes the title is appropriate.. I remember reading in a fairy tale, about trolls, or monsters, hiding under bridges and trying to cause harm, there ready to ‘gobble you up’.. yes this type of ‘would be’ nightmare, if you had them as an adult, would mount to horrendous proportions. A troll, being inevitably something ugly and unwanted even a bit demonic. The bad nature in some humans, have thus been likened to these fictional creatures. The darker nature of hate, and the negative nature of wanting to make the ‘hate’ known. It is at this point, I think that this is how I understood religion, because if anything, faiths globally tussle with the whole dilemma of human behavior the well behaved versus, total chaos. And then there is law and order, to add, to the considerations. Whilst media ‘trolling’, can to some degree be controlled by adding some policy statements and regulation, it still does not stop, the phenomena existing and like the old demonic bad spirit in a fairy story, there you have it again, a troll, to try to make a person feel uncomfortable, it is an easy going kind of expression for just plain nasty behavior. And how come, this all gets an airing? Well for the love of sharing, our thoughts, our arty bits and pieces, and promotions of books, there you have it the green eyed demons come out in the plenty. And some more insidious than others. The real bite, is whether it is indeed right wing factions or extremist views, saying what they cannot say clearly, that they feel fear. Fear of losing control, of a world that by chance or virtue of survival, still produces a level of unequal behavior. Someone sent me a link, on my academic site, about the history of the ‘elite’ schools and I imagine this includes places, like Eton, where if you have the money, you can purchase a really good education, something unforgettable, once you near adulthood, and indeed beyond. I have to say, that I only began to notice the difference in opportunity as an undergraduate, when public school child and state school offspring merge at the higher educational level of university. It is probably true, that if you look at people in the media and I mean the top papers, and news jobs, you might find a few of the ‘elite’ offspring well and truly using all the education life gave them to full success. So it is even more remarkable, when the odd one or two of the ‘ordinary’ people manage to get through the barrier! The story of Hans Christian Anderson, emerged through drama on our TV screens the other day, and indeed, he had been helped to an education having spent most of his childhood illiterate. Strangely powerful, the Emperor’s New Clothes, and other stories by his pen. He could tell the stories but not write them down. So wisdom is not only passed down through school, there are other sources, and parents, and libraries, can play their part. How wonderful God allows for such lessons. Trolls. I think too Shakespeare did suffer because of his talent, yet again not coming through a traditional scholarly upbringing, he the tanner’s boy, and secretly a Catholic, in a time when Catholicism was still forbidden to be openly practiced. Imagine all these hidden political forces. Imagine, if you were party to being ordered to ‘harass’, individuals, to essentially take the carpet from under them, to dissuade them from flying high, well higher and therefore toward potential success. Because success, means fame in part, and popularity, and influence. And possibly becoming wealthy. What happens then, should the egalitarian soul, succeed? The whole EU debate, has opened a hornet’s nest of thoughts. Strangely I was finding through various debates, especially about borders, and opinions, that there our neighbor Ireland, was showing potential above the British Isles, as it had no plans on leaving the EU at all. And too the debate over whether we should as a nation have made it to becoming a republic. The old debate of Kingdom. Had Cromwell decided to manage the country at the time of the uprising caused by an over indulgent King Charles, would we have managed to temper and balance out this surge toward elitism, that seems indwelling, an inherent snobbery. I am mentioning this, simply because the whole capitalist agenda is to get people to spend, and desire spending, usually on the basis of quite false promises. It will make us happy. Hilary Clinton herself, had also implied, that ‘everyone can be wealthy’. I think perhaps not and the only reason is that some people do work harder and longer hours, and still too, is that healthy, for our families. If both parents work, and then, children do not relate so well, with their parents for example and perhaps people in society? So why do people do this awful thing, this trolling behavior? And if it in some part is military, what does this suggest? Is personal hate allowed. King Charles’ son, had the body of Cromwell dug up from his grave, and decapitated, and the head was put on show I think hung from or on a spike, in the chapel that is next to Westminster. Somehow, this seemed to me a bit extreme as the man was already dead. He was a Christian Cromwell. And the issues of Charles I, who was accused of treason toward the nation. So too, how horrid, that this moment in time is presenting to us the British, public something so big, and perhaps too, on the scale of something to fight for. Imagine if your opinion, results in ‘action’ against the individual. It makes me outraged, that ‘assassinations’ go unchallenged. In America, other kinds of punishment, to me it seems illegal, but, the case of Barrett Brown, who was imprisoned, and charged with various indictments, some of which would have only resulted in a ticking off, in another land. Trolling? Some might call this harassment, some, might even say this is the insidious element of the ‘elite’, depending on the ‘target’. So, yes, the essays and writings, that try to make things like real change occur become more relevant. I have been gradually sliding back into my academic roots. They are good roots. I am painting. I am novel writing. And I am applying a good sense of knowledge. The miracle of language is enough for me.